Economic downturn taking toll on health of Canadians – CMA report card

The economic downturn is taking a toll on the health of Canadians according to the Canadian Medical Association’s annual report card.

The report card represents a poll of Canadians conducted in July by Ipsos Read Public Affairs.

According to the report:

• More than one in four Ontarians (27%) say they agree the economic downturn has impacted their health – 7 per cent say they agree strongly. Nearly one in three Quebecers (32%) say their health has been impacted.

• More than one in three Canadians (34%) say that they feel stressed and/or overwhelmed as a result of financial concerns. The number rises to close to half (46%) among those who earn less than $30,000 per year.

• Twenty-two per cent of Canadians have cancelled a dentist appointment as a result of financial concerns, one in four low-income Canadians say they have delayed or stopped buying some prescription drugs. This compares to just 7 per cent who have cancelled a doctor’s appointment as a result of financial concerns.

• Twenty-two per cent say they are sleeping less than they normally do, 28 per cent among those who earn less than $30,000 per annum.

• Among low-income Canadians, more than one in four (27%) have skipped meals as a result of financial pressures.

While most give and A or B grade ranking their most recent experience dealing with the health care system (72%), the CMA poll would suggest the provincial and federal governments are particularly falling down on the job when it comes to addressing the social determinants of health, including the growing income gap among Canadians.

To download the full CMA report card, click here.

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